In 2002, How Art and Music Can Change the World was developed as a lecture, art exhibit and performance event for university classrooms, bookstores and community centres. Jean Smith and David Lester of the underground literary rock duo Mecca Normal intend to inspire audiences towards considering political content in their creative self-expression. In 2011, using what they’d learned presenting How Art and Music Can Change the World, Jean Smith created an adaptation of David Lester’s graphic novel The Listener.
“Who cares if there’s underground culture or not? Gap-Coke-Sony-Time-Warner satisfies our needs… don’t they?”
Referring to their extraordinary 25 year history in music, art and publishing Jean Smith and David Lester illustrate the reality of being artists and cultural activists, by revealing the behind-the-scenes workings of their long-standing D-I-Y collaboration. Jean and David de-mystify the work methods and philosophies that define their collaborative partnership, touring, writing and publishing, making art and music.
“How Art and Music Can Change The World” combines a seasoned performance-based pedagogy with a raw emotional and lyrical intensity — a culmination (so far) of the rock solid artistic integrity that has made Mecca Normal into an underground legend in its own time. –Ron Sakolsky — a scholar covering the intersection of music, revolution and radio. Read his entire review for Fifth Estate Magazine, spring 2011.